Ellie with grandma Joanne (Picture: SWNS)Ellie Rose Harris, just 15 months old, was diagnosed with Brugada syndrome – a condition which causes a disruption of the heart’s normal rhythm.
The toddler, from Cardiff, Wales, was playing with her family just before bedtime when she suddenly went ‘floppy’.
But instead of panicking, her grandma Joanne Rogers, 46, realised the tot was having a cardiac arrest and lept into action.
Joanne performed chest compressions and rescue breaths for six minutes before little Ellie opened her eyes – only for her heart to stop again.
Determined Joanne – who learned CPR at work just weeks earlier – once again brought Ellie back after three more minutes, before the paramedics arrived.
Ellie is now one of the youngest people in the UK with the condition to have had a pacemaker and defibrillator fitted inside her to stop her having a cardiac arrest again.
Ellie with mum and dad Rachel and Mathew and granny Joanne (Picture: SWNS)As medics checked that she was stable, Ellie began to have another cardiac arrest – this one lasting for 15 minutes, according to her parents.
But they were able to stabilise her.
Joanne said: ‘It was horrible doing CPR to a family member but it had to be done. I just thank my lucky stars I had that training.’
Ellie’s worried parents Matthew Harris, 25, and Rachel Hillier, 23, are now delighted with her progress and calling her a ‘medical miracle’.
But during the attacks, they felt so helpless.
Mum Rachel said: ‘It took five shocks to get her back. We just had to stand and watch. We were devastated but hopeful of getting our little girl back.’
She is now one of the youngest people in the UK with the condition to have had a pacemaker and defibrillator fitted inside her (Picture: SWNS)It was another five weeks before Ellie was finally diagnosed with Brugada syndrome.
The rare but serious condition affects the way electrical signals pass through the heart and it can cause the heart to beat dangerously fast.
These unusually fast heartbeats can be life-threatening, and the syndrome is usually caused by a faulty gene that’s inherited.
When Ellie was finally well enough for her four-hour operation, surgeons said it was rare for such a young person to have the condition – and a pacemaker as well as a defibrillator.
(Picture: SWNS)Rachel added: ‘Ellie has begun recovery well, she is speaking as normal and every day her movement is progressing.
‘She can now sit up and roll over and it won’t be long before she regains the ability to crawl as there is nothing holding our little fighter back.’
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